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Water effect

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by kingfisher1, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. kingfisher1

    kingfisher1 Active Member

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    yes i know, this has been discussed a thousand times before but,
    i'm looking for a simple-ish lighting effect to convey the reflection off water, or some other effect that suggest a sailboat as a set.
    not really sure what my budget for this would be, but i know its not a lot
     
  2. Chris Chapman

    Chris Chapman Active Member

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    Occupation:
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    A bunch of different manufactures make Fluid effects projectors. Martin's low end is in the $250 range.

    If you have no $$$ to spend, the simplest way is to set up a tray or small pool that can be hidden behind scenery. Fill with water to about a 2 or 3" depth. Focus a small oscillating fan into the water to get ripples and wave across it. Clipping small pars onto the edge of the pool will then get you the reflection you are looking for.

    I did a production of "Dames at Sea" where duing intermission we set up a trough that was 50' long and 2 feet wide across the stage. Lined with plastic sheeting to prevent mess and then used the above technique. Water was stored in a stock plastic septic tank that had been donated and was pumped out using 2 sump pumps to fill the trough. We had several hundred gallons onstage pretty quickly. We used about 10 par32s and some 3" fresnels to get the effect needed.

    Trough was hidden under/behind a dock scenic piece.

    -Chris
     
  3. kingfisher1

    kingfisher1 Active Member

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    i guess i'm hoping for way to much if i as if there is some sort of nautical effect to be achieved with a gobo rotator. in order to justify a purchase it needs to be useful for a wider range of things then just one effect. i'm going to try the reflecting water thing. does the tray need to reflective on the bottom?
     
  4. egorleski

    egorleski Member

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    If you want that effect done the cheap way, tin foil is your answer. Crinkle it up and then focus the lights on the tin foil and it will reflect off the crinkles and look like water. This can easily be a large effect, and if you need it to be moving you need to extend the tin foil into the wings so someone and move it back and forth or rig a simple motor to rotate some tin foil around something like a pvc pipe.
     
  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Some good ideas were discussed in this old thread: http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3121

    On the second page of the thread you'll find a post from me about my favorite trick that is really cheap and VERY effective. For about $5 all you need is a foil roasting pan, 12 inch tile mirror, IV tubing, empty 2 liter bottle, and an ellipsoidal.

    If you want to spend $3300, the Rosco X-effects projector ROCKS and will do fire or water beautifully.

    Finnaly, for a little less than $800 you should be able to buy a double gobo rotator, power supply, and a combo of one of Rosco's rippled clear image glass and like the blue green colorizer, or blue water prismatic. Also not a cheap option but you can get three for the price of one X-Effect.
     
  6. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    A double gobo rotator will provide a much better effect for water. So will a scene machine rotator wheel, ripple machine, moving light having gobos that can rotate against each other, and even as I just inherited to care taker over a scene projector that also has various water scrollers. Given the Linenbacher projectors (scene machines) of recent look at, they use the same technology as a scroller to make water. Something one can possibly make for use on a scroller roll.

    Beyond this, projection into a gutter or tray full of water that has a fan running onto it which reflects the light up onto the scene will also work as with lots of other ideas.
     
  7. Chris Chapman

    Chris Chapman Active Member

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    I have gotten a nice water effect using two flame patterns in a dual rotater and fuzzing the focus. It does work nicely.
     
  8. kingfisher1

    kingfisher1 Active Member

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    thank you for your replies, now lets see if i can get the purse string holders to acquiese and hand over some funds.
     
  9. jklak

    jklak Member

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    I've used the dual gobo rotator for a water effect too and it turns out pretty well. I only had one rotator so I added a multiplexor from City Theatrical on the front of my S4 to cover more area.
     
  10. JSFox

    JSFox Active Member

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    No amount of budget will buy you anything better than a pan of water. Even in pro theatre with virtually unlimited budget we'd build a pan of water.

    One of the more interesting we did was when we made a quick frame from 2x8's and lined it with black poly (from a local pond store). Filled it with water to about 4" deep. One of the set gals added some silvery liquid to it (don't think it was paint, but might have been) to give it just a bit of xtra reflectance. Had an intern push his foot up against at varying times to slightly jossle it (said this wasn't what he thought he'd signed up for). 6 leko's hit it and bounced up to a rear projection screen. Pretty cool!

    Oh, on the next to the last night (12 night run, 18 performances) we mounted an 8" speaker directly to one of the 2x8's and played a click track to it at about 1/10th speed (I think it was "Here Comes the Sun"). Worked as well as the intern. Intern was only slightly amused. He he he he.
     
  11. drawstuf99

    drawstuf99 Active Member

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    I've seen standard stationary steel gobos work well actually.

    Get 2 or 3 steel gobos of a water ripple per area needed (rosco has some good ones) and just over lap them at slightly different angles but on the same focus. Then just randomly fade each in and out ontop of each other. This could work if it's a subtle effect - then again I have no idea what sort of space you're talking about or where it'd be possible to have these project from.
     
  12. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    We use a water gobo in the gobo holder with a fairly open "flagstone" gobo rotating in the iris slot. Put the water gobo just a little out of focus, and you can't even tell that there is a rotating pattern in front of it. It looks almost just like moving water. I was amazed at how well it worked. We had to project a river on to a platform, so we put three of the rotator/stationary fixtures on the balcony rail, and pointed them at the platform. You could point them from any angle and it would work fine. Just make sure that the water gobo is almost in focus and the rotator is way out of focus.
     
  13. kovacika

    kovacika Active Member

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    if you have a lot of lamps three or four breakup gobos can be used in a medium fast chase/macro with different shades of blue in each lamp.
     
  14. kingfisher1

    kingfisher1 Active Member

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    I'm doing this in a fairly intimate space, with only some many dimmers, however, i can spare about 3 dimmers...

    in all honesty, does the method suggested by drawstuff99 really work?
     
  15. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    There are water effect units available off the shelf ranging in price from under $ 200.00 to over $ 1000.00 depending on the amount of light output and projection distance needed.

    For example, the DMX Abyss features speed and color control from any DMX desk and sells for about $ 150.00

    [​IMG]

    Might be an easier solution than a bunch of gobos, fixtures, dimmer circuits and programming.
     
  16. kingfisher1

    kingfisher1 Active Member

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    wow, that looks pretty good. i think i'm going to sing out that same old i'm a high school and have no budget song. i need to by a gam check and maybe a spare c wrench or two before i go exotic...
     
  17. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I'll say the same thing that I've said before...gobos are cheap. You should be able to cover those. Go to your local theater and see if you can borrow a gobo rotator. That'd significantly increase the effect. It's amazing what an open breakup can do. It makes the water really look like it's moving.
     
  18. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Not to be blowing my own horn but you don't need a huge budget. As I said before all you need is a $4 aluminum turkey pan from Safeway, a $1 mirror tile from Home Depot laying in the bottom of that pan, a couple gallons of water and a way to disturb the water.

    In my previous post (located here http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3121&page=2) I describe the crazy IV drip I created to disturb the water but you could have a student just bump the pan once in a while. Throw in a blue Gel of your choice and you are done.

    It's not as sexy as a Rosco X-effects or a gobo rotator but it's exactly the look you want for about $5. You can even aim the reflection by propring the mirror up at the right angle with a few rocks from the parking lot. Trust me I spent 5 years as a High School drama teacher with $600 a year budget. It works.
     
  19. kingfisher1

    kingfisher1 Active Member

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    your 4$ aluminum tray has sortof been my plan all along but i'm jsut "testing the waters' (okay taht was the worst attempt at a pun i've ever ever ever made....)

    I know of a theater that has a rotator and that owes us i BIG favor (we have lent out Express to them for like 3 shows now, plus a bunch or s4 and a dimer or 12)
     
  20. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    Of course, technically I lent them your dimmers and boards and lights.....

    Sadly, this theater does not have any rotators or anything that would be effective like that, or I would call the favor in for you.
     

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